Joseph and Polly Fairbanks lived in Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, and New Jersey. They had 13 children, three of whom died in childhood. In March 1843, while they were living in New Jersey, they joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints along with five of their children, David, John, Harriet, Nathaniel, and Henry. In September 1844, those who had joined the church left for Nauvoo, Illinois, where John built a home (David, John, and Harriet were married). Due to persecutions, they were forced to leave Nauvoo in April 1846, and went to Winter Quarters (now Florence), Nebraska. In July 1846, son Henry, age 19, joined the Mormon Battalion, which made a grueling 2,000 mile march, arriving in California in January 1847. On 28 February 1847, the patriarch of the family, Joseph, died in Winter Quarters at age 68. Son Nathaniel, age 23, joined Brigham Young's Pioneer Company, leaving Winter Quarters on 14 April 1847, and arriving in the Salt Lake Valley between 21-24 July 1847. On 19 June 1847, the rest of the family left Winter Quarters, arriving in the Salt Lake Valley on 6 October 1847. Nathaniel died at age 28 in California, never having married. Henry returned to Salt Lake City after his battalion trek and then relocated back to Iowa where he married and raised a family. He remained in the midwest states. Harriet and her family resided in Salt Lake City. David and John settled in Payson, Utah, where they built identical homes across the street from each other. Their mother, Polly, also lived in Payson with David. John's home was relocated in 1981 to "This Is The Place Heritage Park" in Salt Lake City. Our yearly reunions are held next door to the home in the Social Hall at the end of July.
The Fairbanks Family in the West is an organization begun in 1907 to honor family members who traveled west in the Mormon pioneer migration. The pioneer stories told here reflect the determination, courage, faith, and inspiration necessary to embark on such a journey.
Today we can emulate and learn from our ancestors as we forge trails of honesty, integrity and perseverance for our posterity to follow. Anyone who has an interest in the Fairbanks Family and the contributions they made in settling the West is invited to join our organization. This is the official source of the Fairbanks Family in the West, sponsored by the family organization.
The photos above are of four children of Joseph and Mary Polly (Brooks) Fairbanks who went West. It is their descendants that we are trying to locate and include in the family tree database.